COLUMBUS, Ga – September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month.
It’s estimated about 1,000 babies are born with sickle cell disease each year in the United States. It mostly affects those of African descent.
Sickle Cell is a very painful condition because the red blood cells become sickle or crescent-shaped and have difficulty passing through small blood vessels.
Alexis Jarrett is the Youth Pastor at New Birth Outreach Church. She was born with Sickle Cell Anemia.
She says school can be hard on people with chronic conditions like Sickle Cell. She remembers being out of school for a month when she was ninth grade because of a flare-up or crisis.
Alexis says she would love to see more money to fund Sickle Cell Research.
“A lot of Sickle Cell patients sometimes are very angry and upset that o.k. we don’t ge the same treatment as other diseases but there is no solution in being angry. What can we do as an organization and as a people to raise awareness and how do you incorporate people who are simply out of touch?”
What Alexis says you can do is participate in the “Sickle Cell Walk-a-thon Parade” on Saturday, September 19th at Fourth Street Missionary Baptist Church in Columbus. It begins at 9.
Or give blood. People with blood diseases such as Sickle Cell and Leukemia often need blood transfusions. A community blood drive will be held on Monday, September 21 from 2:00 to 7:00 at the Crossing Clubhouse located at 8160 Veterans Parkway.
To schedule an appointment, visit Redcrossblood.org